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Manhattan Beach teen arrested after posting Snapchat photo of airsoft gun pointed at students

A high school student in Manhattan Beach was arrested Thursday after posting a photo on Snapchat of an airsoft gun pointed at fellow students, authorities said.

The 15-year-old student, who was not named because of his age, was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats, said Manhattan Beach Police Sgt. Tim Zins. He was expected to be released to his parents.

The posted image showed two photos merged together. The teen pasted an old photo of his father’s airsoft gun over a photo of students at Mira Costa High School, Zins said.

Students who saw the photo confronted the teen, and he deleted it, Zins said. But by then, his peers had notified their parents, who notified school staff, who notified the on-campus police officer.

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The officer launched an investigation shortly before 3 p.m., just as students were about to head home for the day.

Police said the student did not bring an airsoft gun to campus.

“There was no threat on the campus at all,” Zins said. “It was a stupid move by a high school student.”

Even so, police are increasing patrols in and around all city schools for the next several weeks.

The arrest comes a day after a 19-year-old man opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at a school in Florida, killing 17 people.

“Everybody of course is on edge from what occurred in Florida,” Zins said. “Student does something like this, he’s going to put everybody even more on edge.”

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @AleneTchek


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